WWE Panorama: Randy Orton, Christian, Batista and the Jigsaw Puzzle of SmackDown
Here I am, back with my personal featured series WWE Panorama.
The blue brand of WWE has been a matter of utmost interest for the last few weeks, and seemingly for all the wrong reasons.
The creative team has been running from one dead end to another, and there seems to be no way out. A lethal combination of Edge's sudden retirement, curious draft trades and some really obscure booking has created one really interesting situation, one that is quite akin to a jigsaw puzzle.
There are several pieces of this puzzle that stand displaced. There are several characters which have lost their exact direction. Here it is at a right place and the right time (both which don't really matter) to dwell upon this strange business.
Here is an outline of the topics that we will discuss in the coming slides.
- 1. Alberto Del Rio: Has he boarded the wrong bus?
- 2. Wade Barret and Sheamus: A future in obscurity
- 3. Christian: Next?
- 4. Randy Orton: A superman without Lex Luthor?
- 5. Perhaps, there is a super-villain in the wings.
So now, let us move ahead without any further ado.
Alberto Del Rio: Has He Boarded the Wrong Bus?
This image above speaks one cruel story. Winning the World Heavyweight Championship was the destiny of Alberto Del Rio. However, his destiny in real life seems to have written a different fate for this Mexican superstar.
He was supposed win the coveted championship twice, both times it did not happen. The retirement of Edge pushed his destiny even further. In such a situation, the creative team decided to draft him to Raw and transit the WHC belt via Christian to Randy Orton. This whole sequence is pretty awkward and has just added to the existent woes of SmackDown.
In retrospect, it makes little sense to draft Del Rio to Raw. It was alright to keep the belt on Christian and then gift it to Orton. Now, since Del Rio is not there anymore, it is difficult to imagine whom Orton would drop his belt to.
Christian would remain face for a while, and then it is even more improbable that Orton will drop his belt to heel Christian. There is no other viable option either.
Had Del Rio stayed on SmackDown, it would have been a lot better. He would have been a natural and credible threat to Orton. Agreed, he is getting an opportunity on Raw against Cena, but that is not equally beneficial when we compare both the scenarios.
John Cena can still have a lengthy feud with CM Punk. Their program is incomplete anyway. He can also have a little program with R-Truth. He can work with another face like John Morrison as well. Such a program is highly necessary to get JoMo over at some point over the next year. Above all, there is the Rock, who is going to overshadow every other thing.
In case of SmackDown, Randy Orton has already feuded with every heel on SmackDown except say, Heath Slater. We will speak more on this later. Let us just say that he needed Del Rio way more than John Cena.
Therefore, it is a valid question: Has Alberto Del Rio missed his bus at this moment?
Sheamus and Wade Barrett: A Future in Obscurity?
These are some good old days here in the photo, aren't they? There was a time when Wade Barrett dominated John Cena and Sheamus was the WWE champion. Fast forward seven months, and you will realize that the world moves really fast.
As of now, Wade Barrett is set to lose his Intercontinental championship to Ezekiel Jackson, and Sheamus is playing a tool to set Sin Cara and Chavo Guerrero's rivalry. These are not exactly the positions even their critics expected them to be today.
What even worsens their position is the fact that they have already feuded with Randy Orton over the last year. They both had several championship matches with him. That kind of pushes them behind the queue that almost does not exist.
Let me say something loud and clear: These two guys are the future of SmackDown. They are the two best heels on the roster.
Sheamus is a natural monster heel. He can tear apart any opponent and still look credible. That is what he is supposed be anyway. He is also a nice performer who can put up some great matches. It is a shame that he is seldom given the right script lately.
Wade Barrett is the best complete package available right now. Just change that ludicrous finisher and then you have the tailor-made superstar champion. Apart from CM Punk and Cena, there is nobody better on mic than Wade Barrett. He is the future star of this company and is already 30.
These two guys hold the key to SmackDown's success even more than Randy Orton. This is a cold fact, and WWE does really seem to recognize it. They don't have to be your posterboys, WWE, but at least let them shine.
This is the question that has been echoing in every hardcore WWE fan's head for a while. At extreme rules, he finally won the big belt and had his moment for the rest of life. He had to drop the title to Randy Orton just three days afterward, and it has not gone down that well with the fans.
Now he has received the rematch at Over the Limit. It is next to impossible that Randy will drop the belt so soon. If anybody is expecting CC to take Jeff Hardy route and have several rematches and finally win the title one day, forget it. Even this will not happen. Christian will not win this belt again, or, at least as a face.
Yes, this is what seems to be the path ahead. Christian will be turning heel sometime soon. It has to happen, and there seems to be no better option. That is the only way to have a lengthy story between Cristian and Orton. A heel Christian will not only be entertaining, but also thousand times better than Mark Henry vs. Orton and Sheamus vs. Orton edition 129.
It is not certain that he will win the title as a heel. However, be assured that he will attain the heights that he has not been able to attain while being the face.
There are sure few big things ahead for Christian and unlike many others, I am optimistic about it.
Randy Orton: A Superman Without His Lex Luthor
All the people who have seen or read Superman will agree that Superman could have never been the same without Lex Luthor. Any hero is stale without a worthy foe.
Moreover, if we are talking about a hero like Randy Orton, then even these foes have to be entertaining. Now, this statement must have hurt few slithering hearts, but wait and flame me after reading the next statement. Unlike John Cena, Orton cannot carry a feud with the likes of Umaga, Great Khali and still seem even remotely entertaining. Therefore, we are narrowing down the possible choices.
The ultimate problem is that Orton has no more fresh challengers apart from Christian. He has already done a program with Sheamus and Barrett. Del Rio was the only main heel left, but even he is on Raw. Now that leaves only Mark Henry. This is a scary scenario. The even scarier fact is that Randy Orton has got a whole to show to carry. This does not bode well with the future of SmackDown at all.
I don't really think this particular situation needs any further elaboration. Then we have to see where does the solution lies.
Many people are waiting for Chris Jericho to come back and save us. However, he is not returning soon and will be a face to start with. Then, even he has feuded with Orton already, both as a heel and a face. Even though it was Orton who took him out, it is highly unlikely that these two will have a lengthy program in the near future.
All the equations of SmackDown point to only one possibility, and that we will discuss next.
Is He the Answer?
This may seem outrageous or even somewhat day-dreamy, but in Batista lies the solution to SmackDown's every woe.
Let us just revise the whole disarray of SmackDown.
SmackDown looks heel-heavy but lacks any credible name. It has few good faces but barring two, the rest are still not fully established. Then to make these matters worse, there is no heel on the roster who can destroy Orton and still look real.
If we look at this scene and then think of the strong advances of WWE towards Batista, then it is probably easier to add two plus two.
It is apparent that Batista is the answer and key to SmackDown's puzzling problems. He is the very presence needed on SmackDown. All the fans can relate Batista to SmackDown most easily. It has been his show.
If he returns, then either Randy Orton can turn heel, and Batista can take over as the face of the brand. It can happen in one night and be totally rational. On the other hand, Batista can remain the megaheel he was while leaving and push Orton to unprecedented limits.
Either way, Batista's return will do one more important favor. It will provide a nice cushion to Christian and Sin Cara to perform as secondary faces and allow Sheamus and Barrett to function better as secondary heels.
So, as well put together all the pieces, I can see that Batista is the piece that will make this puzzle complete. What do you think?
See, we have put together almost all the pieces, and some still remain out of reach. However, it is those missing few pieces that allow surprises and shocks. They are the true reasons that makes it entertaining to watch the WWE. So, let us leave them as it as and look forward to the better things.
Secondly, it is your yard now. Let me know your opinion, so please express your thoughts in the comment thread with the rest of us. Criticism is welcome. Thanks for reading.